Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cervantino Dazzle 2013

Preview, New Twists and the Basics:

This year the International Cervantino Festival will reverberate with a double theme, The Art of Liberty and the celebration of Verdi and Wagner’s music. The composers’ fans will face the difficult task of deciding among a dozen large and small scale concerts, including Verdi’s Requiem Mass and Wagner’s opera, The Flying Dutchman.

Under the banner The Art of Liberty, the festival will showcase artists whose music or theatre confront the violence and horror in Europe and Mexico during the past century, among others, Victor Ullman’s satirical chamber opera, The Emperor of Atlantida composed in Theresienstadt, and Marcelo Rodriguez’ Bola Negra, based on the violence in Ciudad Juarez. Uta Lemper will sing songs the Nazis declared “degenerate”; Mexico’s National Theatre will present La Sangre de Antigona, by Jose Bergamin, who fled Franco Spain for Mexico. Lightening the mood, a Spanish troupe will present the street theatre spectacle, Ara Pacis (Way of Peace)
Uruguay arrives as the honored country this year, Puebla the invited state. From Uruguay, at the Alhondiga, the beat of the Afro-Uruguayan singer Ruben Rada; at the State Auditorium the National Ballet Sodre. From Puebla, nine events, including the early music group Los Tonos Humanos and regional dancers in Rostros Poblanos.

It’s a foregone conclusion that extranjeros flock to the dance events. After a dozen years, the Sydney Dance Company will return with a new director-choreographer Spaniard Rafael Bonachela, presenting his 2 One Another, described in the Australian press as “harnessing the strength and skills of the dancers in a thrillingly fluent piece that maintains its vibrancy over its hourlong journey.” Mexico’s National Ballet is presenting more traditional fare, La Bayadera, with Petipa’s choreography and movements; the story is set in an ancient princely kingdom of India.

As part of the cornucopia of classical and contemporary music, Russian violinist Sasha Rodzdestvinsky will perform twice, in a solo concert at the Minas auditorium and at the orchestral concert honoring Lutowski, Hindemuth and Mario LaVista. For Beethoven addicts, the Camera Ireland with Barry Douglas as director soloist will perform the complete cycle of concertos in three concerts. As always, cutting edge music at the Salon de Consejo.

This year, no surprise, the Cervantino will serve up a heady brew of world music and jazz. Most nights there will be world music concerts at the Alhondiga, including The Lost Fingers, a Canadian group playing gypsy jazz. At the ex-hacienca Gabriel de Barrera, a koto duo, from the US the Deep Blue Organ Trio, and from San Miguel, Salomon Maawad.

NEW TWISTS: Two-hour guided walks through parts of the city immortalized in Carlos Fuentes’ Las Buenas Consciencias (in English, The Good Conscience) and Jorge Ibarguengoitia’s novels; more extensive use of the Compania as a venue; and many pre and post-event chats in Spanish.

THE BASICS: The events mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg. Complete program and other details online at www.festivalcervantino.gob.mx. Tickets bought at a box office in Guanajuato (Teatro Juarez or the Gran Hotel near the glorieta coming from San Miguel) are discounted 50% for holders of INAPAM cards. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster.

(first published in Atencion, San Miguel de Allende)